My daughter’s toy box is already brimming to the top with toys. Some big, others made up of small parts, some wooden, others plastic and shiny. She loves playing the most with stuffed toys; dolls, animals and teddies. She will talk to them, play with them and pretend to feed them meals. However, a recent addition to this collection of stuffed toys has become not just her favourite but mine too. Why mine? That’s because it’s a doll, hand-made with love and only one of a kind.
How we met
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure to attend the Yummy Mummy Event organized by the Expat Woman, and came across some amazing products and services for mums and children. However, just before we had to leave (thanks to a cranky toddler), I got drawn to a table displaying colourful stuffed dolls and toys, all made out of crochet. Now you see, I grew up surrounded with quite a bit of crochet table mats, pillow cases and decorative flowers around me, thanks to my talented grandma. She still makes round table mats to send and I have them set up around the house, because I just love how a lot of time and affection goes into making them. So, when I saw this table filled with crochet toys, falling in love with the individual pieces was inevitable.
Meet Anjana Bhatia, the founder of Crochet Collectibles, a company she set up herself showcasing her various crocheting talents. Anjana, a Buisness Analyst in the IT profession, calls Dubai her first home and has been residing here for almost 45 years now. She set up Crochet Collectibles three years ago, but has been crocheting for more than 30 years now. With so many years of experience, Anjana is expertly able to crochet any design presented to her and already prepared numerous personalised gifts.
Creating magic with crochet
I’m going to be honest when I tell you that I tried crocheting myself when I was pregnant. I wanted to make a little baby jumper with matching booties for my little baby to wear. I got myself a teal coloured yarn and even a ‘Beginner’s guide to Crochet’. However, crocheting is hard and I was getting my yarn in all sorts of knots. So, when I saw these perfectly crocheted dolls with intricate needle work, I simply had to ask Anjana how has she developed such an interest for crocheting. She tells me that it all began with her paternal aunt who introduced her to the techniques of crocheting. From then on Anjana used crocheting as a way to relax herself, a stress buster and a way to escape reality. She loves that she can take a single yarn and created something out of it. I have to agree that she does create something magical with those yarns.
The background check
For all her dolls, Anjana uses acrylic yarn to crochet and to accessorise them she uses cotton thread and buttons, all sourced from local shops. The dolls are stuffed with polyfiber and are completely safe for children. As stuffed toys get dirty and stained much more easily than the usual plastic ones, I checked with her about how to keep these stuffed toys clean and Anjana assures me that her toys can be hand washed or machine washed with no spin. I asked Anjana about the process of creating one doll. She tells me that she starts off by creating the body of the doll with just the limbs and then decides on what the dress should be. All in all, it can take upto 4-5 days for her to make one doll. Anjana creates dolls that stand up to 15 inches tall and they are all dressed up in different attire. There are dolls with frilly dresses, saris (Indian outfit), curly hair, tied up hair, accessorised with necklaces or bags…anything you can think of, Anjana is able to create!
Here, you can see Azmu playing with one of Anjana’s dolls, named Rosaline. Azmu has so much fun twisting her fingers around Rosaline’s curly hair. The blue hat that matches her blue shoes is detachable, making dress-up play so much more wonderful. The golden crochet buttons really stand out on the Rosaline’s red dress.
Community service, one crochet at a time
Anjana is an active crocheter and is always looking for ways to give back to the community. In 2016, she worked with Mother India’s Crochet Queens, founded by Subsari Natrajan, and along with 2200 other women they achieved the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Crochet Blanket. This year in May, the team was able to achieve yet another Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Crochet Scarf. Both the crochet blanket and scarf were later disassembled and donated to charities in India. In 2013, Anjana participated for Breast Cancer Awareness campaign to create pink crochet earrings in the design of the Breast Cancer Ribbon. Her work was mentioned on the ARTE website and her earnings donated to a charitable cause.
Why Crochet Collectibles
Anjana has excellent work ethos right from creating a personalised order for you to having it delivered to your door step, all for an affordable price ranging from AED 60- AED 175. Although she sets up stalls are various artisans markets around UAE, Anjana can easily be contacted over the phone or by email for any crochet item. Her talent for crocheting is extensive as seen from her Instagram page, and you will be spoilt for choice as to what personalised order should you place with her. Whether it is a graduation gift for your little one or a seasonal gift for your friends, make sure you stop by Crochet Collectibles to pick up treasures that will truly be cherished.
Mumzy Notebook and Crochet Collectibles are collaborating together to hold a giveaway. You stand a chance to win one of Anjana’s crochet dolls and personalise it too! Head over to Mumzy Notebook’s Instagram page and follow the rules mentioned. The giveaway will run from Sunday 28th May 2017 to 3rd of June 2017 and is open to all UAE residents.
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I would like to thank Anjana for giving me this opportunity to get to know her and collaborate together. I wish you and the future of Crochet Collectibles the very best.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Apart form the photographs with ‘Rosaline’ in them, all other photographs are the property of Crochet Collectibles and used by the owner’s permission.